The experience of racially or ethnically marginalized groups in the United States is nothing short of tragic: the loss of identity, dignity, property, and cultural communities, the assignment to second-class citizenship . . . not to mention the violent crimes committed against People of Color throughout U.S. history. Nonetheless, People of Color and those from racially and ethnically marginalized groups have found enormous strength through adversity. The reflection group for People of Color and those from racially or ethnically marginalized groups will work to affirm and heal the spirit of those with marginalized racial and ethnic identities by first naming the landscape of their experience. They will also consider how to create healthy relationships alongside White people who are committed to dismantling structures of systematic domination.
Select a facilitator from the group to choose questions, read them aloud, and keep track of time. Use the Serial Testimony Protocol (Workshop 3, Leader Resource 3) to discuss as many of the following questions as possible. Note that there are more questions than your group will have time to fully explore. The facilitator should choose questions that will engage and challenge the group. Be sure to save 10 minutes at the end for synthesizing and recording your group’s reflections.
Questions About the Program
- How is the program going for you so far?
- What has been your previous experience of talking about race with people from the same racial or ethnic group? When did you feel supported? What felt awkward or risky?
- Describe some times when the program has engaged you, and some times when you’ve felt disconnected. What role, if any, do you think White privilege or race-based identity or oppression plays in this regard?
- What insights were offered in the video clips that are helpful to you?
Questions About Identity
- Who taught you how to be __________ (African, Asian, Native American or American Indian, Latina or Latino, etc.)? How are those lessons still playing out in your life today?
- What have you discovered about your own history with racism that is puzzling to you?
- How have you contributed to maintaining systems of White supremacy? How, if at all, do you still contribute to that system?
- Racism invokes shame and confusion for many racially and ethnically marginalized groups. What issues has this workshop raised for you?
- How might it be possible to be antiracist without appearing to be anti-White?
- What role might People of Color and those from racially or ethnically marginalized groups play in debunking the dysfunctions of racial dominance?
- In your opinion, how does the theology of Unitarian Universalism speak to People of Color and those from racially and ethnically marginalized groups?
- What practices and policies can the congregation create that would keep you at the table in good faith and with a sense of integrity?
- Where do you believe the realities of Unitarian Universalism fall short of its ideals?
- What role can the community of People of Color and those from racially and ethnically marginalized groups play to support and encourage your own spiritual journey?
Closing the Exercise
As a group, prepare a list of statements that you want White people and multiracial or biracial people to know about your experience and lessons learned so far. Begin your list with these words: What I want White people and mixed race or biracial people to know about my experience here is . . .